Being a plant-lover also requires you to ensure that they are thoroughly nourished and grow well. With vacations coming up, it’s crucial to ensure that your plants are looked after when you aren’t around. There are some self-watering DIY methods like water wicking method, houseplant bath, self-watering pots, etc. that you can use while you are enjoying your vacation. These methods are not only cost-effective but also simple to set up. Apart from these DIY methods, there are a lot of commercially available products that you can use when you are busy. There are also other methods like drip irrigation system, using a terrace garden or building a hydroponic garden that you can make use. While a terrace garden once set up requires you just an hour to maintain and you can your neighbour or friend maintain, hydroponic gardening relies on water that can be recycled and reused.
“In Matters of Healing the Body or the Mind, Vacation Is a True Genius!”
― Mehmet Murat Ildan
With the Summers setting in you might have already made your vacation plan and must be busy with the preparations, isn’t it? And while making sure to keep things right in your absence, suddenly a thought struck your mind― “What about my houseplants? Who will water them when I’m not here?”
People who have terrace gardens or love to keep Indoor plants undergo this crisis-situation and start fretting over the same during the time they have to go away from home for days or weeks. The obvious thing would be reaching out to a friend or a neighbour and requesting them to water the plants. But, what if that friend or neighbour isn’t available or forgets to water the plants?
If you’re enthusiastic about your Indoor plants and herbs, here are some ways for watering the plants when you’re away!
Determining the Watering Needs of the Plants
Factors such as type of plant, time of the year, environment, species of the plant, etc. can influence the watering requirement of plants and can affect their overall growth and development.
Plants kept in sunny windows will require less water than plants kept in the dark places. Different species of plants require water at different times and intervals during the day.
Self Watering System
As a tip, before you leave for vacation, test these methods listed below to know if the way they are working for your plants.
Here are some self-watering systems to take care of your plants.
Water Wicking Method
To use this method, all you need is a container of water and an absorbent material like cotton, which is used as a wick. The benefit of this technique is that you can water as many plants as you want.
- A Container of Water
- Cotton Rope or Yarn (any absorbent)
Step 1: Fill the container with water. Use a large container if you want to water multiple plants.
Step 2: Cut the rope and place one end of the rope in the container of water, making sure that it reaches the bottom.
Step 3: Place the other end of the rope a couple of inches under the plant’s soil and cover the rope with soil.
A houseplant bath is a convenient and long-lasting self-watering system that works for indoor plants and herbs. You can use a container of water or a bathtub/ sink for this method.
This self-watering system works well for plants that require less light as it requires them to be kept in a bathroom or any similar place where there is the least amount of light.
- A container of water or a bathtub or sink
- Plants potted in pots with drainage holes
Step 1: Fill the container or bathtub/ sink with a few inches of water.
Step 2: Place the towel over the water to avoid any scratches that may happen because of the pots.
Step 3: Place the plants in the container or bathtub/ sink and ensure that they have drainage holes for the water to soak through the roots.
This self-watering system is better for small houseplants.
Easy Glass Bottle Drip System
Ensure that you use a bottle with a cap and not use a cork. For extra funkiness, you can also design the glass bottle and use it as a decoration to add to your plants.
- A Glass Bottle with Aluminium Cap
Step 1: Take the bottle cap and start nailing it from the inside with a hammer to avoid breaking or disfiguring the cap.
Step 2: Fill the bottle with water and put the cap back on the bottle.
Step 3: Select the plant/s that you will be watering and dig a hole in them. Now invert the bottle with the cap side first and push it far into the hole in the soil.
Self- Watering Pots
If you are too busy to water the plants, this pot watering system might be the right solution for you!
Self- watering pots have a built-in water reservoir at the bottom that you need to fill with water and it gets delivered to the plants from there. Few of the pot watering systems use wick method to deliver water while some also use automated drip systems.
While most of the above DIY methods discuss how to take care of your home garden and plants that are already potted, this method requires you to set the watering system first and then to repot the plants.
- A pot or any container with drainage holes
- PVC Pipe
- Few sticks
- Any absorbent material
Step 1: First, find a container with a lid that fits into the pot and poke small holes in the lid for aeration. Also, make a hole for the watering shaft.
This will be your reservoir.
Step 2: You will need a water level indicator that you can make with Styrofoam and attach a stick to it. You just have to remove this when pouring the water in.
Step 3: Now for the wicking mechanism, add strips of the absorbent material through holes in the top of the reservoir and ensure that one end touches the bottom of the reservoir.
Step 4: Put this in the pot and hold the wicks in an upward direction. Avoid lying them in them on the bottom of the growing area. Once you do this, add the plants into the pots.
If you’re looking to buy self-watering pots, these are our picks:
- Kurtzy Self Watering Flower Pot for Indoor Garden
- Ugaoo Syngonium Podophyllum with Self Watering Pot
- Sharpex Italian Plastic Square Self Watering Planter
- But there are other methods that you can use instead of DIY methods while you’re away…
Drip Irrigation System
Got your own large home garden and watering them seems like a challenge?
This drip irrigation system can be the right choice for you! It will allow you to water your plants by simply attaching the system to a single outdoor faucet.
When you are on vacation, your plants will be watered as long as your water is on. It is the hose that lets water seep out while you’re gone.
With Hydroponic Gardening, you don’t need the traditional option of soil to grow plants. Instead, it uses mineral nutrient solutions in water.
What’s best about Hydroponic Gardening is that though they rely on water, they use less water and nutrients since they can be recycled and reused.
Consider this method to grow plants while you’re away!
If you have a roof or terrace, then you must consider terrace gardening. All you need to is water-proof the roof and then you can grow flowers, fruits or vegetables on the roof garden.
The best part about this method is that once the garden is ready, you just need a few minutes to maintain your home garden. Ask your neighbour to simply spend a few minutes to oversee your terrace garden or go for the drip irrigation watering system. This can be used even when you are at home. No more plant watering woes!
Which methods would you prefer to nurture your plants? Hydroponic Gardening or other Self Watering Ideas? Or maybe Terrace Gardening?